New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata party has released its list of candidates for all but one seat in Rajasthan. The party has fielded 23 candidates in the desert state, where 25 Lok Sabha constituencies are at stake.
In Nagaur, the saffron party has backed Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief and prominent Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal but in Dausa, the BJP is still undecided as two candidates tussle for the ticket.
BJP leaders Kirodi Lal Meena and Om Prakash Hudla are locked in a tug-of-war over Dausa, a reserved ST seat. Sources say that Meena wants his wife Golma Devi, a former Congress leader and legislator, to get a ticket from Dausa.
Hudla is bidding for a BJP ticket from Dausa himself, and his candidature is backed by former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
On Wednesday, a third strong claimant entered the fray. Sources said that BJP might announce Jaskaur Meena, a former Union minister of state of ministry of human resource development in the Ataj Bihari Vajpayee government and a former MP from Sawai Madhopur, as its Lok Sabha candidate from Dausa.
On Tuesday, both Kirodi Lal Meena and Hudla met BJP’s Rajasthan election in-charge Prakash Javadekar to reach a resolution. Javadekar had also met Jaskaur Meena and Raje and is believed to have reported back to BJP president Amit Shah, who will take the final call on Dausa candidature.
“My name should be finalised by today evening,” Hudla told News18.com.
“I have talked to BJP leaders. Javadekar had called me and Meena to Jaipur and now the national president will decide,” he said.
Former Rajasthan CM Raje’s backing Hudla's candidature and the long tussle over the seat, looks like yet another instance of friction between BJP's central command and state unit. "Naturally, people support a candidate who can win ," Hudla said on Raje’s confidence in him.
The electoral tussle between Kirodi Meena and Hudla is not new; the two leaders have stood poles apart in the past, as well. In 2013 Rajasthan assembly elections, Hudla had defeated Golma Devi, then a NPEP candidate, on a BJP ticket from Mahuwa seat.
“I had then defeated Kirodi Meena’s wife Golma Devi by about 15,000 votes. Therefore, in 2018 state elections, Kirodi Meena ensured that I was denied the BJP ticket. So I contested independently and defeated his nephew (Rajendra Meena) by a margin of 10,000 votes,” Hudla said. This is now a third time that Kirodi Meena has insisted a ticket for his family member against Hudla.
“I don’t know why Kirodi Meena has always been against me. Only he can answer that question,” Hudla said.
Both Kirodi Meena and Golma Devi were unavailable to comment despite repeated attempts to reach them. BJP Rajasthan president Madan Lal Saini too was unreachable.
Congress’s candidate from the Dausa seat is Savita Meena. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s Harish Chandra Meena had contested and won from Dausa. He, however, quit the saffron party and joined Congress ahead of Assembly polls in the state in November last year.
Rajasthan will vote in two phases this Lok Sabha elections, with polling slated for April 29 and May 6.